Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) can best be described as the mid-range version of the Galaxy S8 Plus. It’s predecessor was known as the Galaxy A7 (2017) but Samsung decided to switch up its naming scheme this year to make things simpler. This is one good looking handset with robust specifications at an affordable price.
The design is a mix of the Galaxy S8 Plus and the Galaxy A7 (2017). The result is a metal and glass sandwich with a beautiful 6-inch 1080x2220 pixel resolution Super AMOLED Infinity Display. It doesn’t have curved edges, though. The flat display has an 18.5:9 aspect ratio which leaves no room for the physical home button.
Like the Galaxy S8 Plus, the Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) also houses the fingerprint sensor on the back. Unlike the Galaxy S8 Plus, it’s located below the camera which makes it a bit easier to reach.
The 159.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm body weighs 191g and is IP68 water and dust resistant. Fans of the standard 3.5mm headphone jack will be delighted to know that Samsung hasn't done away with it just yet.
Under the hood
The Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 7885 processor with Mali-G71 GPU. It's available in 4/6GB RAM and 32/64GB storage options. The 6GB RAM variant will be exclusive to China and a few other markets in Asia. The storage can be expanded externally up to 256GB with a microSD card. There's Gear VR, LTE Cat.11, Wi-Fi- 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 5.0 support onboard as well.
Despite Samsung's ambitious new naming scheme, the A8 Plus (2018) has been launched with Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and not Android 8.0 Oreo. As with the A series of previous years, the newer version of Android will arrive later in the year per firmware update.
As on other Galaxy devices with Android 7.1.1, the A8 Plus (2018) too will come with the Samsung Experience UX version 8.5. This is the same UX as launched with the Galaxy Note 8 last year.
Aside from the Infinity Display, the front-facing camera is one of the biggest selling features of this device. It features a 16-megapixel primary camera with f/1.9 aperture combined with an 8-megapixel secondary f/1.9 camera.
The front-facing camera offers the Live Focus feature which lets users adjust the blur effect before and after they take a picture. Users also get a 16-megapixel f/1.7 rear camera with video digital image stabilization as well as a Hyperlapse mode for time-lapse videos.
The Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) features a 3500mAh battery with support for fast charging. Its predecessor, the Galaxy A7 (2017) had a 3600mAh battery which was enough to provide a full day's worth of use. Similar performance can be expected on the new device if not better owing to improved internals and other optimizations.
Release and price
Samsung started selling the Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) in markets like Vietnam, South Korea and the Netherlands in the first week of January 2018. It will be released in other markets across the globe in the following weeks.
Samsung is selling the Galaxy A8 Plus (2018) for €599 or $720. You can expect it to cost about the same in your market.